I have noted that as soon as I stopped eating animals, I grew such compassion for them.
The more time that passes between taking a bite of meat (it has been almost two years) and now, I feel my compassion growing. And I feel it has grown for humans and animals alike. My heart has softened. And looking back, it is surprising to me to realise just how very hardened my heart was.
Earlier this year, I started following all of these wonderful animal welfare organisations on Facebook. I did some research and learned about ‘no-kill’ animal shelters around where I live in Adelaide. I decided that I had the capacity to fully care for another being. I had money to feed it, and room in my home and my heart to care for a little creature. [Also in combination with that, I think my ovaries are probably trying to hint at something – I feel that they have proverbially pointed to their watch, and tapped their feet with an expectant glare. BUT, I am going to continue shushing that for a few years yet – don’t get too excited.]
I found a volunteer organisation that fosters unwanted pets, gives them veterinary treatment, desexes them, all before adopting them out to loving homes. I also learned that every Saturday and Sunday, the animals are taken to a local pet shop for weekend ‘adoption drives’.
So, one Monday a couple of months ago, I went to the pet store (when I kind-of thought all of the remaining animals would be back with their foster families). I wanted to get some information on their adoption policies, and see what supplies I would need to purchase before plunging into the commitment of caring for an animal for 10+ years.
When I walked into the store, to my left I spotted a cat in a cage, sound asleep in a little ball with her paw covering her eyes. OH MY GOD. CUTEST EVER. I gave her a little poke (I know you’re not supposed to do that to animals in cages, yeah yeah) and she rolled over onto her back, tilted her head toward me, and meowed as if asking for a tummy rub.
My eyes instantly welled up, my glasses fogged over, and big pathetic tears rolled down my cheeks.
How could nobody want to care for this little animal?
Needless to say, she came home with me that very day.
Olive is so very lovely, and I feel so blessed to have her in my life. She also makes an excellent hot water bottle in my freezing cold 1915 stone cottage!